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The Sunday Best (1/12/2020)

Sunday Best

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated from the furthest reaches of the internet for your reading pleasure.

Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy.

Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles.

Related topics that have become recurrent themes include early retirement, selective frugality, tax issues, travel, physician issues, and of course, investing.

For more great articles, take a peek at The Sunday Best Archives. Now let’s get to the best… The Sunday Best!



Sunday Best


The Sunday Best


Our WCI Network Partner James Turner a.k.a. The Physician Philosopher, who has a great voice and face for radio, is now a podcast host! He and co-host Ryan Inman debuted Money Meets Medicine with Episode #1: How Batching Might Save Your Personal Finances.


Most people are busy trying to do the things they resolved to start doing or do better in 2019. Not Laurie of the Three Year Experiment. Instead, she’s opted to “Just Say No” a lot more for sanity’s sake. 10 Things I’m Saying “No” to This Year.


Most people reflect upon the last year when the new year starts. Not Kevin the Financial Panther. He looks back on the last decade as he bounced from law school to big law to less law to no making food deliveries by bicycle to current law students, among other things.


Have you funded your HSA for 2020 yet? Families can contribute $7,100 this year. What else do you need to know about this triple-tax free investment account? Kevin from Just Start Investing has the answers. Health Savings Account Rules: What to Know in 2020.


Have you funded your backdoor Roth for 2020 yet? I did so for both my wife’s mutual fund IRA account and my own newly-transitioned brokerage IRA account. I wish there was an “undo” button on that transition, but at least I captured a bunch of new screenshots to describe the more tedious process for most of my readers who have the brokerage IRA variety with Vanguard. Backdoor Roth IRA 2020: Step by Step Guide with Vanguard.


The backdoor Roth is a good trick for high-income earners. Low-income earners (which includes many early retirees) should be taking advantage of this trick. It’s the exact opposite of Tax Loss Harvesting, but also beneficial. From Magni FI Money, Tax Gain Harvesting 101 – How to Get Tax-Free Gains into Your Life.


If your goals for 2020 seem far-fetched, perhaps you should focus on achievable goals like Passive Income MD does. How To Set SMART Goals and Make Them Stick.


One of our goals for 2020 was to spend a couple months in Spain, and that’s happening right now! After four weeks in Valencia, we head to Barcelona where our friend Dr. Cheri of Your Family Can Travel has already been with her family. When you factor in the potential cost of flights (she used travel rewards), the expenses line up pretty closely with my trip to Paris & Iceland. How did she keep costs down? Our Family’s $2850.27 Barcelona Trip.



Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to money? Would he or she go for a “budget” trip to Europe? Is that an oxymoron? The White Coat Investor breaks down the 7 Ways To Get Your Partner On Board Financially.


One of the most common times for financial disagreements among couples comes when one partner’s income explodes. Adam Kol of AHK Coaching talked through a few different scenarios where he’s seen such issues and how they were addressed. From Residency to Real Money: Making the Transition as a Couple.


It’s a problem when one partner wants to start spending most of that real money right away. Actually, it’s also a problem both of them want to burn through that cast. The Physician Philosopher tells us why in Physician Lifestyle Inflation After The First Big Paycheck.


You’d be better off giving the money away. That’s the opinion of gastroenterologist Dr. Brent Lacey from The Scope of Practice. [Get it.. Scope of Practice]  Generosity is the Cornerstone of Any Good Financial Plan.


You know what doesn’t cost much? Catching some television. Bonus points if you actually learn something that you can apply to money or business as Damien Peters of Wealth Noir does. 6 Wealth Minded Television Shows I Love. I’ve watched three of the six, but none since retiring from medicine, as I saw them exclusively when on call at the hospital.



The Rain in Spain…


Doesn’t fall much in January!

My family and I have been in Valencia for a few days now, and we’re loving it. The streets are lined with palm trees and orange trees. Yes, there are Valencia oranges everywhere, but here, they’re just oranges. Kind of like Chicken Kiev is just chicken in the Ukranian city.

With highs around 60 and lows around 40, it’s pretty much sweater weather every day. That is, unless you’re running, in which case a pair of shorts and tee shirt will suffice.

Yes, I’ve kept up the training with runs of 6 and 10 miles in our first three full days in town. The Turia park is about 5 miles long with zero intersections. All the cars pass overhead on bridges above the most amazing former riverbed on the planet.




Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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8 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (1/12/2020)”

  1. Spain without rain sounds like a nice time. It’s done nothing *but* rain the last week around here (the PNW).

    I got drenched today covering up an outdoor project, and now I’ve got several inches of snow to shovel in the morning.

    Yeah, Spain sounds nice right about now…

    • That sounds pretty miserable, Mr. Tako.

      What’s keeping you from spending time elsewhere?

      Spain is nice, but it’s tough to beat the weather we had in Mexico. We actually woke up to 30 degree weather this morning (10 degrees below average) but it was sunny and pushing 60 this afternoon.

      There is rain in the forecast for next week. Hoping it falls mainly on the plain and not so much on the coast.


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Impressive run. I was never fast, but am getting even slower. You rock.

    Jimmy has a great “face for radio.” Hillarious. My Dad was in radio and he said his looks were the reason he was on the radio and not TV. Jimmy is a good-looking guy, so I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

    • Well, I did mean it that way, but I meant it in jest.

      The only reason I’m able to run reasonably well is that I’ve had all the time in the world to do it the last few months. Still, I know plenty of people my age and yours that would put us both to shame.


  4. I’m impressed you’re pushing through longer runs on vacation. I always seem to find a reason to eat more and work out less! 🙂 So glad to hear you’re enjoying Valencia. I love that city! Thanks for including me in the Sunday Best. As usual, I’m in great company.

    • I like to think that we don’t take vacations anymore. This is life now — extended slow travel with a home base where we’ll spend 4 to 6 months a year. I could stay in Valencia for a long time, but we’ll be moving on in a few weeks.

      Happy to feature your post on saying “No.” It was a popular read!

    • Thanks, man. That’s the plan!

      I’m moving a lot faster than I anticipated. I was hoping to break 2 hours in my first official half-marathon, but I think I can shave a good 5 minutes off that goal. That’s the new goal, anyway.



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